Confidence-Men and Hucksters, Corruption and Governance in the US

Irish Association for American Studies

Annual Conference

University College Cork, Ireland

April 12th – 13th 2019


The annual conference of the Irish Association for American Studies, this year situated in University College Cork, is focused on the theme of confidence-men, hucksters, corruption and governance in the US.

These issues are often in the news given recent political developments in the United States, but the theme is also inspired by Herman Melville’s 2019 bicentenary and particularly his popularisation of the idea of the confidence man in his extraordinary 1857 novel of the same name. But both before and after Melville’s characterisation, Americans have wrestled with how to recognize confidence men and hucksters, and have sought to root out corruption and promote their notions of good governance.

Papers are invited on the broad theme of hucksterism and other forms of corruption, as found in contemporary and historical American politics or represented in art, literature, or other forms of culture. Papers on the continuing influence of Melville, as defined in a broad sense, are also very welcome. Proposals for individual papers or panels will be considered.

*** The deadline for submissions is 20 January 2019 ***

Proposals should be sent to and should include:

  • 300-word abstract
  • Brief bio
  • Contact details (email address)
  • If proposing a panel only one submission is required but it should include abstracts for all papers and bios of all proposed speakers

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